Remain in the Union to Perpetuate Slavery


Lincoln made it clear that he intended to wage war against the American South to maintain a territorial union of States, and without regard for consent of the governed. He informed newspaperman Horace Greeley early
in the war that “My paramount object is to save the Union and not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves I would do it…”

Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"


Remain in the Union to Perpetuate Slavery

“…[I]t is almost universally assumed as a fact that the war was waged by the Federal Government for the overthrow of African slavery, and by the South for the maintenance of that institution.  [I]t is easy to show that it did not make war to emancipate the slaves, but that it liberated the slaves to help it to make war.

For the proclamation came at a time when the Federal army that had besieged Richmond in the beginning of 1862 had barely saved Washington from the grasp of the half-starved, half-naked soldiers of the Confederacy. It was issued when those soldiers stood on the frontier of Virginia, challenging their adversaries to try again the issue left
undetermined on the bloody field of Sharpsburg.  It came at a time when the Federal plan of campaign in Virginia for 1862 had failed, shattered at Manassas, shattered at Sharpsburg, and if there be not about it a painful suggestion of servile war as a possible aid to the restoration of Federal authority over the South, it is clear in the announcement that if the South could escape the threatened emancipation of the slaves, and all the consequences of that measure, by returning to the Union.

Emancipation, therefore, was used as a threat to the States that should continue to resist the Federal arms after the 1st day of January, 1863, and protection to slavery by the Federal Government was the reward promised to such States as should cease to resist.”

(The Oration of Colonel Charles Marshall, 3 November, 1870, Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. XVII, R.A. Brock, editor, 1889, pp.217-218)